American Roots Music Concert Series

Clarence The Bluesman

Come celebrate American roots music - Americana and folk, country, blues, and even zydeco -- with the return of our popular summer concert series! Join us for one or all of these free concerts. Provided seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis or bring your own blanket or chair.

Check back for information on 2017 American Roots Music concerts. In December, visit for our holiday concert series.

Previous (2016) concerts in this series:

June 2, - Bob Margolin

Bob Margolin is a multi-award winning guitar player, songwriter, and singer. Hired by Muddy Waters in 1973, he spent 7 years on Muddy's right side, playing on Grammy-winning albums and star-studded shows, including Martin Scorsese's classic film "The Last Waltz." Now with his own band, he's released 11 of his own albums while also still producing and performing with countless blues artists. The recipient of numerous W.C. Handy/Blues Musician Awards and a Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipient for Journalism, Bob continues to tour all over the world, wherever his road takes him.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

June 16 - Dave Chappell

Dave Chappell, a Washington, DC native, is one of the most sought after and respected musicians in the area. For the last several years, he has won the Washington Area Music Awards (WAMMIES) for 'Musician of the Year' and 'Roots Rock Instrumentalist of the Year'. He has performed with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge, Johnny Johnson, and guitar wizard, Danny Gatton. Join us for a full concert of Western Swing classic and originals!

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

July 7 - Jarekus Singleton

At just 30 years old, Jarekus Singleton is a musical trailblazer with a bold vision for the future of the blues. Springing from the same Mississippi soil as Charley Patton, Muddy Waters and B.B. King, Singleton's cutting-edge sound--equally rooted in rap, rock and blues traditions--is all his own. He melds hip-hop wordplay, rock energy and R&B grooves with contemporary and traditional blues, turning audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his untamed guitar licks and strong, soulful voice effortlessly moving from ferocious and funky to slow and steamy to smoking hot, Singleton is a fresh, electrifying bluesman bursting at the seams with talent.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

July 21 - Fast Eddie and The Slowpokes

This harmonica driven five piece band is inspired by classic roots material from Chicago to West Coast Swing and the Delta to Muscle Shoals, and all the rock n' blues in between. Fast Eddie & The Slowpokes have performed from Senate Caucus rooms to festivals to roadhouses. They have shared the stage with Victor Wainwright (2013 Pinetop Perkins Award Winner) and The Nighthawks. They won the 2012 DC Blues Society Battle of the Bands and represented the DC Blues Society at 2013 The International Blues Challenge in Memphis!

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

August 4 - The Crawdaddies

Hailing from the East Coast, The Crawdaddies music combines some of Louisiana's Cajun, Zydeco, and Blues sounds with North Eastern's Roots Rock, Americana, and Ska influences to create a very unique sound that is all its own. Consummate headliners, the eclectic, good-time spirit of their set has allowed The Crawdaddies to share the stage with a wide range of artists including: Etta James, Trombone Shorty, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, CJ Chenier, Joan Jett, Edgar Winter, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Reel Big Fish to name a few. The Crawdaddies were also invited to perform on the 2009 Mardi Gras Mambo Tour with Dr. John and the Neville Brothers.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

August 18 - Vintage#18

Since 2013, Vintage#18 has become well-known as a dynamic soul and blues band igniting stages throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. areas with their engaging live performance and stick-to-your-bones groove. Built on a framework of uniquely talented and dedicated musicians, the band features the vintage sound of Bill Holter (guitar), the groove is laid by Alex Kuldell (drums) and Mark Chandler (bass), with sultry lead vocals by Robbin Kapsalis, captivating audiences with her soulful voice and infectious live show. The energy of the band is undeniable and together Vintage#18 delivers hard-driving blues rhythms and soul grooves you can move to. The band has many influences which include Koko Taylor, Etta James and a host of Stax and Chess artists.

5:00 - 7:00 pm | Conservatory Terrace (Rain Location: Conservatory Garden Court)

September 8 - The Brummy Brothers

Hailing from New Jersey, The Brummy Brothers original blend of bluegrass, roots rock, and improvisation forms a sound and energy that allows them to be found playing anywhere from clubs, to folk festivals, to farmers markets. And it's a good thing, because if one thing is clear, it's that these guys love to play music. In May 2014 The Brummy Brothers released their debut album "On Our Way", allowing the band to share the composite of their time together. The record incorporates harmonizing voices, striking instrumental prowess, and expert arrangement to bring everything together. Fans just can't wait to, "Shake their BRUM!"

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court

September 22 - Bobby Thompson

Awe-inspiring master guitarist and vocalist Bobby Thompson is no stranger to the blues world. He cut his teeth learning to play in the old blues clubs of D.C. from the likes of Bobby Parker. After honing his craft as a much sought after support man, Thompson decided to step out as a solo artist, releasing three albums since 2011. A recent review from Roots Music Report claims Thompson's songs portray "muscular blues- and soul-rock strong on soulful vocals and cut-above-the-norm originals." With his smooth, gripping vocal stylings and his perfect musical taste on anything with a string, Thompson is what's referred to as a "musician's musician. Considered a "must see" act of the Northeast region, Bobby was nominated for the D.C area Musician of the Year award in 2015.

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court

October 6 - Big Virginia Sky

Bluegrass-inspired Americana group Big Virginia Sky has collective talent and a myriad of experience performing with and opening up for the likes of Glen Phillips, Alan Jackson, Katie Rogers, Edgar Meyer, The Band Perry, Taylor Hicks, Lonesome River Band, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and more. They were recently featured by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Raleigh, NC, and were chosen out of 30 groups by the Virginia Tourism group to play the exclusive Crooked Ramble with The Church Sisters and Lonesome River Band.

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court

October 20 - Les Deux

Carly Harvey is a Folk-Rock/Blues fusion artist living in the Washington Metropolitan area. Sol Roots is a fierce guitarist & soulful singer who has toured the world with many roots, funk, and blues legends. Together, they form the fantastic duo Les Deux, performing jazz and stripped down blues all delivered with deep soul. Sol has shared the stage with music heavyweights such as Taj Mahal, BB King, Cootie Starks, Cool John Ferguson, John Dee Holeman, Robert Randolph, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Soulive, Derek Trucks, and others. He has also performed with members of jam band favorites such as Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Dynamite Brothers, Jah Works, Hobex, Carolina Chocolate Drops and more. Sol Roots has also frequently toured a part of Music Maker Revue- a humanitarian organization that helps support the pioneers of roots, blues, and R&B music.

3:00 - 5:00 pm | Conservatory Garden Court